The Imaging Source DMK 41AF02.AS
The DMK 41AF02.AS has a great assortment of features and specifications for the entertainment of researchers, astronomers, scientists and the people who have a knack for astrophotography. This monochrome camera consists of ½” CCD, progressive scan, IR cut filter, resolution of 1280 x 960, 15 frames per seconds, maximum exposure time of 60 minutes, FireWire connector for high speed image transfer, C/CS mount and software that controls the parameters of the astronomy camera producing high resolution images.
The DMK 41AF02.AS is a CCD camera consisting of CCD chips at the input. These chips transform the photons into electrons and the spectral sensitivity of this transformation is one of the most important characteristic of the camera input. Imaging Source uses three Sony CCD chips for its monochrome FireWire cameras. The corresponding USB camera is the Imaging Source DMK 41AU02.AS camera. Due to the photoelectric effect the information about the photon’s wavelength gets lost and in order to solve this problem these chips have filters in the pixels. The filters are green, blue and red distributed evenly among the pixels. However, a pixel can only represent one color of these three. The format of this image is called RAW. So in order to create the two colors that are missing we use the help of color interpolation.
Using the original images from the CCD which are in RAW format for visualization purposes does not make sense. If you want to view the images that you have taken in common formats then you would have to use color interpolation. The amount of data of RAW color images equals to that of the monochrome images. So, these color images can be transferred in the same way and with the same speed as the monochrome images. Only thing is that the bandwidth for the transfer of interpolated images has to be broader than the RAW formatted images. With this ½” CCD camera the color interpolation can be switched off if desired, thus achieving 15 color frames per second. In such cases the IC Capture.AS performs the color interpolation on the host computer. If color interpolation is not desired then the AVI files can be written in RAW format. All this is for the convenience of the person who is using this product so that he can take the advantage of the amazing features of this monochrome camera.
The astronomy cameras without the IR cut filter provide much more flexibility. However, unlike the human eye, CCDs have to be protected from the near infrared light that has wavelengths above 700nm. The near infrared light destroys the quality of the images so in order to eliminate this light, and to get a perfect shot, this CCD camera is equipped with an IR cut filter.
This astronomy camera produces high resolution images due to its 1280 x 960 pixels resolution. And not only that, DFK 41AF02.AS can also output high resolution images at a speed of up to 15 frames per second. It comes with camera control software IC Capture.AS which is authored by the Imaging Source and designed especially for astronomy cameras. It helps the user to set all the camera parameters according to their desire. With this software the user can see live image data stream from camera as well as snap singular images and save them as jpg and bitmap files. It also has a feature that captures the image sequences and saves them as uncompressed and lossless AVI files. These files can then be post processed in other astronomy applications like RegiStax.
The DMK 41AF02.AS users can also adjust all the other parameters of this astronomy camera either manually or automatically. The amplifications in the gain help to increase contrast, adding the offset increases the gray levels and helps to increase the brightness of the images. Adjusting the sharpness helps to enhance the blurred images; however, this should not be overdone or it produces distortions in the images. The saturation parameter adjusts the color saturation from monochrome to high color values. The white balance parameter helps to adjust the degree of red and blue in the image to produce a more life-like color effect. The user can change these parameters all he wants producing images of high quality.
So, all of the astronomers, researches, scientists and astrophotography addicts out there should get their hands on this incredible astronomy camera and take amazing images of the planets, moon and stars to their hearts’ content!
|Manufacturer||Imaging Source Astronomy Cameras|